The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. (Heb. 12:6)

THE BEST PARENTS don’t follow the path of least resistance. They face each parenting task with rigor, including the one that perhaps takes the greatest energy of all—executing and enforcing discipline.

When my seventeen-year-old son was a toddler, my husband and I used time-outs. A child’s chair sat on the landing of the stairs, and that was where our little boy was sent when he behaved poorly. He resisted initially, so I sat near and restrained him in the chair until he figured things out. When Ivan learned what a time-out was about, he sometimes disciplined his own beloved friends by the same method. Elmo did stints in time-out when he didn’t cooperate with Ivan.

Like children, we are reluctant to accept discipline by our heavenly Father. Though we look back at the training we received as children and view it is a gift, including the stern words or hand spankings, we aren’t always appreciative of the discipline He gives us along the way.

The writer of Hebrews 12 explains to those weary or restless in their faith that God’s discipline is one way He shows His love for us. We are to learn from God’s correction, recognizing that He uses discipline to mature and strengthen our faith. Just as earthly parents discipline their children for their good, God disciplines His sons and daughters too.

Today, thank your heavenly Father for disciplining you in order to perfect your faith.

Hally Franz is a former high school guidance counselor turned stay-at-home mom. She enjoys being a 4-H leader, church secretary, book club member, and traveler.